What You Can NOT Wear to Disney Theme Parks: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

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Updated for 2017!

Ever see the ladies walking down Main Street, U.S.A., in pretty party dresses and high heels? I am actually amazed anyone can look somewhat presentable in the Disney parks. My family seems to arrive in Orlando when it’s hot, humid, raining, just finished flooding or about to pour. My “Disney uniform,” if you will, is a t-shirt and shorts, with my hair usually looking so un-Disney Princess-like that I wear a baseball hat. Not one of those flowery girly hats that accessorizes the matching mini-skirt and sparkly top I didn’t wear, but just a sweaty Mickey baseball hat. The hat is sweaty because I am sweaty.

While it’s easy for some princesses to pick out cute vacation outfits, have you ever thought about what you cannot wear to a Disney park?  Yes, Cinderella, there are a set of rules, but it’s really just a matter of common sense. [Read more…]

The 5 Worst Times to Vacation at Walt Disney World?

worst times to visit Disney World

Updated for 2017!

Years ago, Disney vacation planners talked about booking a trip when it “wasn’t busy.” They wanted to travel to Orlando when lines were less than five minutes for average rides and less than 15 minutes for thrill rides. I took a couple of those fabled vacations myself, usually with my kids playing hooky from school. Man oh man, those were the golden days.

Now? Disney World is a very busy place.

[Read more…]

Gotta Have it! 12 Cheapskate Extravagances at Walt Disney World

best things to spend money on at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

There is no one size fits all Disney vacation. You can customize your trip to fit your needs and desires, sprinkling as much Pixie Dust as you can afford to spread. From Value to Deluxe Resorts, standard park tickets to Annual Passes, and Signature Restaurants to cereal in your hotel room, there is seemingly no end to the choices you can make concerning your Disney experience.

I always believe it’s a good idea to ask real people who spend lots of hard-earned money on vacations what they thought of experiences, accommodations, and purchases before I decide where and when to drop my Disney money. We asked our Cheapskate Princess Facebook fans, “What is the one thing you’ll spend money on for a Disney vacation, even if it’s pricey?

[Read more…]

Can a Disney Princess Afford to Stay at the Contemporary Resort at Christmas?

Contemporary Resort Wreath, Contemporary Resort, Disney's Contemporary Resort, Mickey Mouse wreath

If you have ever looked at The “Holiday Season” pricing at Disney World to see if you could afford a room during the most festive time of year, then you just might be a Cheapskate Princess. Nothing wrong with making plans and checking things out to see if your budget can handle what your heart desires. Christmas is a truly magical time at Disney. “Holiday Season” runs from December 21 to December 31 of 2012. Without any sort of discount, a standard room at Disney’s All-Star Resorts will cost you $164, and the prices for this time of year go up from there. A standard room a moderate resort level Coronado Springs Resort is $249, compared to around $190 a night for a summer night on a weekday. Now, are you ready for some really heaving pricing? [Read more…]

Cinderella Castle at Christmas: Photos and Trivia

Castle Dreamlights, lights on Cinderella castle, Cinderella castle, Cinderella Castle at Christmas

Updated for 2017!

How do you take a great American icon and bedazzle it? You add thousand of sparkley-twinkley lights, and bibbidy, bobbidy, BOO!! There you have Disney’s Cinderella Castle, and she’s all dressed up for the Christmas holidays.

Like fun Disney trivia? Here are some fun holiday facts from one of my favorite Disney sites, Disney by the Numb3rs.com. You can find all their numerical Disney trivia by using this Disney by the Numb3rs link. Let’s see what it takes to make the Castle pop. [Read more…]

Fun Facts about Disney World Christmas Decorations

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Updated for 2017!

The cost of spending Christmas Holidays at Walt Disney World are, if not THE highest, among the highest rates you will pay to stay in Orlando all year-long. Even the off-property hotels charge more this time of year. School will be out, which means so many people will haul the family off to Disney that entire theme parks will close their gates as they reach capacity. So you pay more money for accommodations, stand in longer lines with tons of people, and stress yourself out during your time off from work just to get your Disney fix. Only a true Disney fan would understand this mentality.

Because Christmas at Walt Disney World is like no other place on earth. [Read more…]

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort During Holiday Season?*

Grand Florisian Resort and Spa, Grand Floridian, Disney's Grand Floridian, Seven Seas Lagoon

Often referred to as the “flagship” hotel of the Walt Disney World resort hotels, the Grand Floridian Resort sets the Princess bar high in terms of everything: world-class dining, entertainment and luxurious accommodations. You will pay a pretty penny to stay here any time of the year, but to spend the night during the Christmas holidays may just wipe out your Disney change jar!

The “Holiday Season” pricing at Disney runs from December 21 to December 31 of this year. The level of your room cost goes up with your level of accommodations. Without any sort of discount during Holiday Season, a standard room at Disney’s All-Star Value Resorts will cost you $164.  A standard room Moderate Resort level Coronado Springs Resort is $249, while a standard room at the Deluxe Resort level Animal Kingdom Lodge is $470 a night for holiday season.

Maybe that will prepare you for the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa pricing, sort of like a mental warm up!

What Is The Ultimate Disney World Souvenir? The Mickey Mouse Doll!

Grand Floridian pool, can I afford the Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Holiday Season Room Prices

A room in the Outer Building with a Garden View is $460 a night on a weekday in Value Season, is $730.

A room in the Outer Building with a Lagoon View is $830 a night.

In the Outer Building – Club Level, you will pay $905 a night during Holiday Season. What’s so great about Club Level?

  • Lounge with beverages
  • Continental breakfast, midday snacks, afternoon tea, evening wine, cheese and hors d’oeuvres, late night cordials and desserts
  • 24-hour room service
  • Turndown Service

For a Theme Park View in the Main Building – Club Level, you will pay $1,190 per night.

For a One Bedroom Suite in the Outer Building– Club Level, you will pay $1770 per night. Move over to the Main Building for this same one bedroom suite on Club Level, and you will pay $2020 per night. The suites can sleep up to six.

But maybe you brought eight people to Disney. What you need is a Two Bedroom Suite in the Outer Building – Club Level, which will cost $2525 to $2825 depending on your particular view.

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney World During the Week of Christmas?

Grand Floridian Resort lobby, Grand Floridian grand piano, Disney's Grand Floridian

Or maybe your family of four needs more space to stretch out. The Disney Suite Main Building – Club Level, which includes a master bedroom with a king-size bed and full bath, a second bedroom with 2 twin-size beds and full bath, a parlor area with half bath and a wet bar, will cost $3105 per night.

And if you need the exclusivity of the most expensive accommodations in the building, welcome to the Grand Suite in the Main Building – Club Level. Located in the Main Building in the Royal Palm Club, this suite offers the same accommodations as the Disney Suite listed above, but offers views of Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park and a panoramic view of the Resort hotel property. Welcome to Disney luxury, pals, and be prepared to spend $3210 per night.

Of course you don’t have to stay during those Holiday Season days to enjoy the sights of the seasons, as holiday decorations start appearing throughout the parks by the first weekend in November and stay into the early part of January. And you always have the option to stay off property in  less expensive hotel. But for you to enjoy the holiday decorations during “Christmas” staying on property at a Disney Resort, it’s going to cost you more money than other times of year. That’s what a Cheapskate Princess calls a Disney Splurge.

Avoid These 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck a Disney World Vacation

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Like fun Disney trivia? Here are some fun holiday facts on the Grand Floridian’s Christmas decorations from one of my favorite Disney sites, Disney by the Numb3rs.com. You can find all their numerical Disney trivia by using this Disney by the Numb3rs link.

A 40 foot tree is erected in the Grand Floridian lobby with more than 45,000 lights, which is assembled in just one night.

Can a Cheapskate Princess Afford a Dooney & Bourke Disney Handbag?

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A 16 foot high by 17 foot wide gingerbread house is erected each year in the lobby of the Grand Floridian, which takes up 200 square feet of lobby space.

It will take 10 men a total of 6 days will be used to create the gingerbread house. 60 sheets of plywood and 40 windows will be on the gingerbread house, with 1,000 board feet of trim. There will be a total of 40 window panes in the house.

What kind of ingredients are used to create the gingerbread house?

  • 1,050 pounds of honey
  • 600 pounds of chocolate
  • 800 pounds of flour are used to make the honey dough
  • 180 pounds of apricot glaze are used to make the gingerbread house
  • 35 pounds of spices

The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

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400 hours of baking will be needed to make the 2,000 pounds gingerbread pieces.

It will take 160 hours to decorate the house, because 10,000 pieces of gingerbread are needed to cover the house completely.

600 pounds of powdered sugar are used to dust the gingerbread house to make it look like snow.

Gingerbread house at Disney World, gingerbread, holiday gingerbread

140 pints of egg whites are used to create the royal icing, with a total of 500 pounds of this icing used to create the gingerbread house.

80 square feet of retail space is inside the gingerbread house, with 100 square feet of display area are available inside.

Thanks to our friends at Disney by the Numb3rs, and stop by their site for some fun Disney trivia. Tell ’em a Cheapskate Princess sent ya!

10 Cheapskate Reasons to Vacation on Disney Property

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Can a Cheapskate Afford to Stay at Disney World During the Week of Christmas?

Disney Christmas card, Magic Kingdom Christmas card, Merry Christmas, Merry Disney World Christmas

While I shout it to the world that going to Walt Disney World during the Christmas holidays is mostly just crazy, due to the insane crowd levels compared to other times of year, I need to point out that the holiday decorations are just spectacular. Standing on Main Street, U.S.A., and watching it “snow” might be worth your headache and the stress level of vacationing with so many other people. But can a Disney Princess afford to pay rack room rates during the busiest time at Disney?

The “Holiday Season” pricing at Disney runs from December 21 to December 31 of this year. Without any sort of discount, a standard room at Disney’s All-Star Resorts will cost you $164, and the prices for this time of year go up from there.

Disney World at Christmas: Would a Cheapskate Spend Up to $30 for a Christmas Ornament?

Disney at Christmas, Christmas, Cinderella Castle at Christmas, Disney Princess Christmas, Disney Christmas decorations,

A standard Holiday Season room at moderate resort level Coronado Springs Resort is $249, compared to around $190 a night for a summer night on a weekday.

The least expensive room, a garden wing room, at the Contemporary Resort goes for $530 a night during Holiday Season, compared to $360 for a Regular Season night on a weekday.

A standard room during Value Season at the Animal Kingdom Lodge will cost $265 a night, with a jump to $470 a night for Holiday Season.

And in the Deluxe Villa category, a studio room at Bay Lake Tower will cost $600 a night during Holiday Season, compared to $485 a night during Regular Season, $415 a night during Value Season.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Photos of WDW during the Christmas Holidays

Disney's Yacht Club at Christmas, Yacht Club, Disney Deluxe Resort, Disney Vacation Club,

Of course you don’t have to stay during those ten days to enjoy the sights and sounds of the season, as holiday decorations start appearing throughout the parks and resorts by the first weekend in November and stay into the early part of January. And you always have the option to stay off property in a less expensive hotel. But for you to enjoy the holiday decorations during “Christmas” staying on property at a Disney Resort, it’s going to cost you more money than other times of year. That’s what a Cheapskate Princess calls a Disney Splurge.

Can a cheapskate afford those resort prices? Yes, but you may have to sell the glass slippers first!

Like fun Disney trivia? Here are some fun holiday facts for the Magic Kingdom from one of my favorite Disney sites, Disney by the Numb3rs.com. You can find all their numerical Disney trivia by using this Disney by the Numb3rs link.

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The Magic Kingdom Christmas tree is 26 feet wide, and it takes a 70 ton crane to position the theme park Christmas trees into place each year.

25,000 poinsettias are used to decorate the Magic Kingdom for the holidays, which takes two whole nights to put everything in place.

A Cast Member crew of 30 people do the holiday landscaping at the Magic Kingdom.

The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

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How tall is the Christmas tree erected in the center of Main Street, U.S.A., each Christmas season? 65 feet.

Talk about your crazy Florida weather forecasts…There is a 100 percent chance of snow flurries during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, taking place on select holiday evenings in Magic Kingdom. And for those who don’t want to pay the $53.95 to $63.95 a ticket for this special party, snow frequently falls on Main Street throughout the holiday season.

Are You Crazy Enough to Go to World Disney World at Christmas?

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Thanks to our friends at Disney by the Numb3rs, and stop by their site for some fun Disney trivia. Tell ’em a Cheapskate Princess sent ya!

 

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Christmas at Disney World: Would You Spend up to $30 for a Christmas Ornament?

Mickey Mouse christmas ornament, Mickey Mouse snow man, Mickey Mouse Club, Christmas ornaments

Updated for 2017!

Souvenirs seems to take on an extra special sparkle during the Christmas holidays at Disney World. T-shirts, hats, coffee mugs, and rows upon rows of Christmas decorations. We put our Christmas tree up about November 1st every year, so I keep Christmas on the brain. But nothing good comes cheap these days, and with the retail cost of Disney holiday ornaments ranging from $10 to $30, I often wonder if this piece of merchandise is worth the expense.

Would a cheapskate pay up to thirty bucks for a Christmas decoration you will enjoy less than probably 1/12 of the year?

Read: The 5 Worst Times to Vacation at Walt Disney World?

fancy Christmas decorations, fancy ornaments, Disney ornaments, Disney Christmas ornaments

We went to the Cheapskate Princess fans on Facebook to see what they thought about buying Disney Christmas decorations.

Yes, it’s worth it.

Tonya,In 2005, we took our boys to Disney World for their first trip.  Zach was into Woody and Ryan was all about Buzz.  My parents bought each of them a Toy Story ornament with their names painted on the backs.  My boys are teenagers now, yet those ornaments are their favorite to hang on the tree still.”

Kelly-Ann, “No matter what time of year we go to Disney we always get an ornament. I love hanging them on our Christmas tree and remembering how much fun we had. They are worth the money in my opinion.”

Lauren, “I keep my ornaments year after year, so I look at it as an investment. I still have my honeymoon ornament from almost 10 years ago and many others.”

Read: Understanding Disney Park Closure Phases: A Cheapskate Princess Guide

Tinkerbell ornament, Tinker bell Christmas,

Dana, “They do have wonderful ornaments this year. I love quite a few of them. But my favorites are the storybook ones that are priced around $10 each. And I think that is affordable for just how cute they are!!!!”

Carrie, “Every year we get out our special $25.99 ornament, and we smile and laugh and remember an incredible trip. Worth every cent.”

Sara, “We started a tradition our first year.  We buy one ornament in the Mickey ear shape and get it personalized with the year on it.  That way every year when we put up the Christmas tree, we can remember each year that we went and relive them.  Love it!”

Read: Are You Crazy Enough to Go to World Disney World at Christmas?

Mickey Mouse as Santa, Mickey Mouse dressed as Santa, Mickey Mouse Santa, Santa, Disney Santa,

No, it’s a bit pricey.

Ashley“I’ve always wanted to buy an ornament but the price really has kept me from doing so up to this point.  I still plan on getting one, but I’m still waiting to find the special one that I won’t mind dropping that much money on!”

Charlotte“I think ornaments are beautiful, but I can’t see spending that for them. I would want more than one for more impact and just can’t see spending so much for ornaments when there are smarter places to spend that kind of money this time of year. If it was after Christmas and I could find them on clearance for under $10, then maybe I would consider it.”

Looks like I fall under the no votes. As you can see by my photos, I love Disney Christmas decorations. I would readily admit they are quality items, and for what you get, they are probably worth what they charge. Unless you drop it. My non-coffee drinking son dropped his just-purchased coffee mug last summer as we loaded the car to come home from Disney. He then announced purchasing anything glass was definitely not worth the money. I have two metal ornaments, not even featured in my photographs, and both were purchased full price at $12.99 in 2012 prices. Those same ornaments are now $17.99 each.

I haven’t found one for more than that amount that I just had to have, so strangers stare at me while I photograph ornaments I never purchase.

Read: The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

Walt Disney World Christmas ornament, Christmas at Disney, what to buy at Disney at Christmas

Find a sale.

Maybe what I need to convince me is a sale! All Cheapskate Princesses love a sale.

Kristie, “I love them but wait ’til they’re on clearance after Christmas to expand my collection!

Tom pointed out that you can find sales online, in fact, the Disney Store has sales going on all the time, and shopping on eBay can result in fantastic savings.

Dianna, “We got a few at the Disney store (at the mall, not at Disney) I don’t think they were that much, on sale I think.”

Gretchen, “I got some on clearance online from the Disney Store for super cheap when they had an extra percentage off a while back. They are plain Mickey glass balls. I’m going to personalize them with our names and the year.  Since I got a set of four for about $10 it’s quite a bargain!

Read: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Photos of WDW during the Christmas Holidays

Santa Christmas Ornament, Santa ornaments, Disney Santa ornaments, Santa, Disney Moms at Christmas

Find another store.

Jay is shopping non-Disney Stores. “While I love them – check out Target. They usually have Mickey shaped ornaments much cheaper than the theme parks.”

Check out this suggestion from Jarett, “If you visit any of the character warehouse stores, (I know there are two in south Florida, and at least two in Orlando) you can find them much cheaper. Not as big of a selection but always at least 10-20 to choose from. I just bought two for $5, and another for $10!”

So it looks like purchasing pricey Disney Christmas ornaments for some people are an investment in memories, the commemoration of special holidays and happy times.

And for others, paying full price on the spot is definitely out of the question, with the search for a bargain being front and center, regardless of when and where it was purchased.

Read: Where to Find FREE Disney World Theme Parks Christmas Music

Mickey Minnie Mouse Christmas, Mickey Minnie ornament

And if you want to pop over to the Disney Store online to their Ornament Section, just use this link. There are three pages of ornaments, just calling your name, but maybe you better leave your Disney Visa card in the other room, with someone financially responsible.

Disney Christmas decoration prices

Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you checking prices, wondering how soon is TOO SOON to put up a Christmas tree!

In my opinion, it’s never too soon. We’ve had Christmas trees in our dining room for years now, covered in…key chains. You can read about it here:

 What to Do with All Those Disney World Key Chains? Put Them on a Tree!

To see more of our Cheapskating Guides, use this link.

Amanda Major Cheapskate Princess

.

Disney’s Cheapskate Princess

.

Now let our vacation planner help you plan your trip, totally for FREE!

Earn $20 Rewards for Vacation Referrals!

Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from Mike Ellis, our Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations.

Call Mike at 919-606-6725 or e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

Amanda Major CheapskatePrincess.comAmanda Major is the creator of cheapskateprincess.com. She remembers her first visit to Magic Kingdom like it was yesterday, because she had a ham sandwich tucked in her shorts pocket. The whole family snuck in their lunch; you can’t make that kinda stuff up. 40 years worth of trips to Orlando later, she is still trying to save money on vacations.

Amanda is a Disney Vacation Club Member and Annual Pass holder. Her amazing husband, band director Carl Major, plus three teen children and two dogs keep her busy. Amanda teaches Leadership to high school seniors in the almost-coastal town of Foley, Alabama. Read about her cheapskating local vacations with this link. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, walking somewhere, or paddling a kayak. Life is indeed a blast. 

We hope we can help save you some money too. Use this link for a free no obligation vacation quote from our Travel Consultant with Pixie Vacations, Mike Ellis. You can also e-mail him at mike@pixievacations.com.

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Three Tips for Surviving Disney World at Christmas with Kids

Survival guide for Christmas at Disney World

Updated for 2017!

Debates occur weekly as to when is the best time to visit Walt Disney World. I am a public high school teacher, so it’s hard for me to play hookey and travel to Orlando while school is in session. If you have ever seen Disney during the Christmas holiday season, then you know why this is a favorite among Disney vacationers. Carols really do fill the air, festive lights are twinkling, and you can almost feel Santa’s impending arrival just by touching any of the thousands of Disney holiday merchandising items. There’s even “snow” on Magic Kingdom’s Main Street on special nights. [Read more…]

The Disney World Resort with the Most Fabulous Christmas Decorations? The Award Goes To…

Time is money at Walt Disney World. While I shout to the rafters that going to Disney during the Christmas holidays, when the kids are out of school, is pure insanity, the decorations are truly incredible. The twinkling lights and Christmas trees are spectacular, almost worth standing in lines for hours on end with thousands of people. Almost… [Read more…]

1st Trip to Disney World: Should You Travel during Christmas?

Disney World at Christmas

Updated for 2017!

It seems that spring and summer are often the time planning begins for colder weather vacations. Lots of people want to visit Disney World during Christmas, and who can blame them?  If you have ever scheduled a vacation during the Christmas holidays to avoid putting up holiday decorations in your own house, you might be a Cheapskate Princess! While we’re talking about scheduling, the question must be asked. Is Christmas really the best time of year for you to visit Walt Disney World? [Read more…]